We hold fast to our dreams because we believe that there is the slightest possibility that they may become reality. Follow along with me as I chronicle a journey of preparing, participating in, and eventually reflecting on my trip to Indonesia to experience its people, culture, and history. I will travel as a grantee with International Research and Exchanges’ Teachers for Global Classrooms. My thanks to IREX TGC for the opportunity to see my dream become reality.
Class takes place in many kinds of available spaces
Yesterday was Sunday.Our arrival day coincided with a parent visitation day.Amanatul Ummah, International Standard
School, or MBI as we know it, is a boarding school.Parents dedicate their Sundays as a holiday
to come and visit.Of course the
students are always very excited to see their families, and chatter abounds on
My living quarters are nearer the middle school than the
high school, though the walk is short and beautiful up the hill to MBI.If I didn’t know it before now, I certainly
can now confirm that middle schoolers are louder and sillier than high
schoolers.The environment is quite
different on the two campuses.The patio
onto which my room door opens, serves as a classroom for some of the younger
boys, so when I am there, I can hear the random and silly goings on.Admittedly, they are really excited to see
American teachers.Most students greet
us enthusiastically, and sometimes giggle when we respond.
The girls' morning assembly
Students assemble at 3:00 a.m. for morning announcements and
prayer.Since it is Ramadan, and fasting
begins at daylight, the morning meal is taken after assembly, while it is still
dark.School officials have not asked us
to attend so early, though since I don’t sleep through the noise, I could.We arrive at MBI at 7:15 a.m.; another
assembly is in progress at this time, and then classes begin at 7:30.There are four class periods, with one 15
minute break following period two.Many
of the students take advantage of the break to sleep.They have, after all, been awake since before
3:00 a.m.As teachers return to classes
after break, they sometimes have to wake up the students to begin lessons.The school day ends at 1:00 p.m. Teachers meet, if necessary, and prepare for
any extra-curricular activities they sponsor.This school year has just begun, so student clubs are forming, and
student government offices are being filled through a democratic election
system.Candidates for student body
president were giving campaign speeches when we arrived yesterday.Tomorrow our after school event will be the
English club’s open house.
It’s 11:40 p.m., and construction on the mosque next door
has just stopped, at least momentarily, so blogging takes a back seat to sleep.More later.